Washer Won't Agitate (Top Load)

  • Troubleshooting

    Video Tutorial

    Note: The information here is general and may not be specific to your machine. If you need help with choosing the correct parts for your model, you can contact us using the tech support form here or calling our parts support team at 1-323-490-1805. If you leave a message, we'll get back to you within 24 hours.


    Make sure the lid is closed

    You can also inspect the lid switch to make sure it is operating properly.

    Lid Switch

    Top loaders have a lid switch that prevents the washer from operating with the lid up. If the lid is down, and the agitator isn't working and the motor has no power, the lid switch might be faulty.

    To check this, first unplug the washer. Then test the switch for continuity with a multimeter. The switch should have continuity. If not, replace the part.


    Important: Unplug the washer from its power source before starting any inspection or repair work.

    The agitator moves the clothes through the water and soap by rotating forward and backward. Some agitators are one-piece, and some are two-piece agitators, with a lower and uppper section.

    If the agitator isn't moving back and forth during the wash, it's possible the spline has been damaged. You'll have to remove the agitator from the machine to inspect. If your machine has a fabric softener dispenser over the agitator, remove that first. Then, you'll see either a small screw or an o-ring holding the agitator in place. After removing the retainer, you can lift the agitator off the shaft.

    Motor Coupling

    The motor coupling connects the transmission to the motor. A failed motor coupling commonly results in a washer that fills and drains normally, but doesn't spin or agitate. Over time, the coupling gets worn down and may even break, and replacing it is necessary.

    Drive Belt

    Certain top loaders have a drive to belt transfers power from the motor to the agitator. Belts get worn down and stop working. When it needs replacement, it'll often emit a burning smell and make a squealing sound. to replace the drive belt, the panels must be removed, and the belt is found under the tub.

    Drive Motor

    Some machines have a drive motor that rotates in two directions, one for spinning and one for agitating. It's possible for a motor to be fine rotating in one direction, but not the other. To test the motor requires a live voltage test, and this is recommended for professional service technicians only.